St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Brigantine will host its second annual community barbecue this Sunday, July 28.

The event will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, at 331 S. Eighth St., and will include children's activities such as a giant waterslide, a bouncy machine and friendly clowns, a beer garden for the grownups and several food stations offering barbecue chicken, burgers, hot dogs, seafood provided by Brigantine's own Clam Daddy's Fresh Clams, water ice and funnel cake.

There will be a 50/50 raffle for a chance to win $10,000, with tickets costing $20 each, and a silent auction with multiple prizes and baskets to bid on.

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The activities and food stations will be set up both outside the church under a tented pavilion and inside the air-conditioned banquet hall. The event is open to the public and activities are free. It's a rain or shine event.

"It's really just a way to bring our community together for a summer celebration," said the Rev. Bill Vandegrift, the church pastor and event organizer. "It's not just for the Parish of St. Thomas. It's for everyone."

Vandegrift, who became pastor of the church three years ago, but vacationed in Brigantine for many years, said years ago the parish used to host a similar summer barbecue. It was his idea to reinstate the event.

Last summer's community barbecue, the first in many's years, was very successful, the pastor said, and the predicts this year's to be just as good.

"It's nice to see the community together enjoying each other's company," Vandegrift said.

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